Dr. Claire Leon
As the year draws to a close, I am filled with pride at what WIA has accomplished this past year and am thrilled at the programs and events that are on the horizon! WIA continues to provide the quality information and tools our members have come to expect while also bringing new and exciting programming.
This past fall kept us busy with the second session of our Aerospace 2017 Conference series held on September 22nd. This session, entitled “What Space Launch Enables: Markets Shaping the Launch Business,” featured two panels of thought leaders in space market assessment for spacecraft and constellations requirements, exploring the trends and likely outcomes of the ongoing investment in launch systems through an enlightening discussion.
The closing keynote speaker for the conference, Dr. Claire Leon of the United States Air Force, gave a dynamic presentation in which she cited that receiving WIA’s 1994 Outstanding Achievement Award served as motivation for her distinguished career in the aerospace field. It is rare to witness the effects of an organization’s mission and we were fortunate to have Dr. Leon as an example of WIA’s impact.
Our busy fall continued into October with our highlighted event of the year, the 2017 WIA Awards Dinner & Ceremony. The dinner was held on October 19th and was truly an unforgettable evening. The night began with inspirational remarks by the Honorable Heather Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force, before acknowledging our four WIA Foundation scholarship winners – an increase from previous years that illustrates our organization’s growth and the vast strides women are making in the industry.
WIA Foundation Scholarship Awards presenter, Dr. Rebecca Spyke Keiser,
with this year’s winners: Karen Rucker, McKenna Davis, and Julia Di
The six remarkable women awarded with our top honors that evening ranged from a former NASA Deputy Administrator to an astronaut recently returned to our atmosphere. They are bound by their devotion to aerospace and by their uncanny ability to inspire others to follow their dreams. Along the way, each award winner has broken personal and professional barriers while serving as role models for other women. WIA is humbled and honored to recognize their work and achievements; we look forward to what each award winner will accomplish next.
From left to right: Leadership Award winner, Dr. Dava Newman; Aerospace Awareness winner, Robyn N. Gordon; Outstanding Achievement Award winner, Joan Robinson-Berry; and Lifetime Achievement winner, Astronaut Peggy Whitson
Finally, we are thrilled to announce that due to high demand, we will continue to offer our professional development webinar series in 2018. The 2018 program schedule can be found here and I am sure you will find it as rewarding as previous years.
I want to thank every WIA member for making this past year prosperous. From our fantastic Board of Directors, our supportive corporate members and sponsors, the wonderful individual members, and our staff – each one of you has contributed to our organization’s success and I am humbled by your commitment. I wish you all good tidings this holiday season and I look forward to working together in the next year.
Women in Aerospace